Tried and tested - lollipops - said one aficionado. Maybe, but it was done so professionally that I, for one, was prepared to close my eyes and imagine I was sipping cocktails and dancing with Jessie Matthews, at the Monseigneur Restaurant, to Lew Stone and his Orchestra or listening to Duke Ellington whilst swigging bathtub gin with Dutch Schultz at the Cotton Club.
I'd only previously heard the PRO live on one occasion and that was perhaps 10/12 years ago at Keswick. The personnel may have changed over the years but the commitment to entertaining their audience without compromise remains.
Lots of features for the instrumentalists: Malcolm Baxter (Ain't Misbehavin'); Adrian Fry (I Gotta Right to Sing the Blues); Robert Fowler (Stealin' Apples); Oliver Wilby (Body and Soul); The pianist, did Galloway say Richard Evans? (no it was Busiakiewicz - see comment) gave us Honeysuckle Rose and Dominic Sales was featured on Drummin' Man.
I spoke to Dominic (at the right of the group photo)during the interval at the nearby Steamboat speakeasy little realising he was the same Dominic who operates the Jellymould Jazz record label. Jellymould moves in a more contemporary area than the PRO yet Sales is a drummer au fait with any genre as proved by his chorus on skulls during Drummin' Man.
The band within a band came down front for Dinah and, lo and behold, who should be on banjo but our own local hero Keith Stephen! Keith's solo near brought the house down. You can catch Keith again with the north-east's own '20s/'30s specialists, the New Century Ragtime Orchestra, at Caedmon Hall, Gateshead on May 20.
Yes, a good time was had by all and I left thinking that the out chorus on Fletcher Henderson's King Porter Stomp is still as exciting now as it was on the 1932 recording.
Two men facing a firing squad are asked if they have a last request.
The first man says, "I'd like to hear a record by the Pasadena Roof Orchestra."
The second man says, "Can I be shot first?"